The myth that cannabis is harmless has been destroyed.
In 1999, DAWN (Drug Abuse Warning Network) data reported by medical examiners shows that of 664 drug-related deaths, there were 187 deaths where marijuana was the only drug reported. (Federal Register: Apr. 18, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 75, pps. 20037-20076)
The Forensic Toxicology Institute reports that, in a period of six years, six Norwegians have died from smoking hash. The average age of the persons who underwent autopsies was a little over 30 years. There were no substances present in their bodies other than THC, and there was no indication that the persons had a greater susceptibility for heart and circulation diseases than normal. Dr. Jorg Morland, Chief of the Forensic Toxicology Institute, said that these sensational findings would arouse international attention. (Bergensavisen, Oslo, Norway, Oct. 2, 2001)
Professor Jovan Rajs, Department of Forensic Medicine, in Stockholm, Sweden, and psychologist Ana Fugelstad, Psychiatric Dependency Clinic, St. Gorans Hospital, Stockholm, did a study about narcotics-related fatalities in Stockholm. They found that people who have used cannabis on its own, without simultaneous consumption of other substances, have frequently died in connection with impulsive and unforeseen acts of violence. The predominant form of death is suicide. (For more information contact: Jovan Rais, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden)
A report co-authored by Dr. Hilary Klonoff-Choen of 236 infants who died from sudden infant death, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that fathers who smoke marijuana might be increasing the chance that their baby dies from cot death [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome]. Smoking cannabis around the time of conception, or during their partner’s pregnancy, doubled the risk of cot death. If cannabis use was extended beyond the birth of the baby, the risk was almost tripled. Maternal smoking can increase the risk of cot death 15-fold. (http://news.bbc.co.uk, Aug. 29, 2001)
A new survey published Jan. 15, 2002, found that dancers at clubs who take Ecstasy are 25 percent more likely to have a serious psychiatric disorder than those who do not. (London Telegraph, Jan. 16, 2002)
After four years of legally cultivated marijuana hemp in Canada, the oilseed acreage plummeted from 34,000 acres in 1999 to 3,200 acres in 2001. (The Western Producer, Jan. 17, 2002)
A 2000 study by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) found that about 14 million people nationwide use illicit drugs, and marijuana is the choice 76 percent of the time. A 1997 study by the agency found that of marijuana users who said they smoked pot at least 12 days in the previous year, more than half reported problems related to their drug use, including negative effects on the health and family life. (Seattle Times, Jan. 14, 2002)
In 2001, SAMSHA reported that 9,109 people in Washington State were admitted to state-funded treatment programs for marijuana abuse. These admissions were in addition to state and federal programs and countless 12-step groups that operate independently. (Seattle Times, Jan. 14, 2002)
The results of a team of researchers from the United Kingdom and New Zealand, published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that babies of women who used cannabis at least once a week before and throughout pregnancy were 216 g. lighter than those of non-users. They were also significantly shorter, and had smaller heads. The researchers calculated that the effect of smoking one cannabis joint a week through pregnancy is equivalent to the effect produced by smoking up to 15 tobacco cigarettes a day. (BBC News Jan. 7, 2002)
Stranger than fiction! Health chiefs in Edmonton and Calgary, Canada, are drafting policies to allow patients to smoke marijuana in hospitals. (Edmonton Sun, Jan, 6, 2002)
Britain has the worst drug problem in Western Europe. Under sweeping new proposals being considered by police chiefs, people caught using cocaine, heroin, and Ecstasy in England and Wales may not face court action. Instead they would be sent for treatment, which could involve drugs prescribed under supervision, paid for by the Home Office. David Blunkett, the home secretary, has proposed reclassifying cannabis, making possession of small quantities a non-arrestable offence. (www.sunday-times.co.uk Jan. 13, 2002) [Ed. Note. How will making drugs more readily available solve the drug problem?]
In November 2001, customs officers at SchipholAirport, Amsterdam, complained about the fact that drug smugglers were set free. Even if the Netherlands has been the scene of a large number of drug scandals, this one takes first prize. According to customs officers, some drug smugglers were even set free with a receipt as proof for the drug seizure! (HNN International Centre, Jan. 9, 2002)
Asa Hutchinson, Director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, told a group of lawyers on Jan. 9, 2002, that he and the Bush administration will continue to pursue a balanced attack — including treatment, education, enforcement, and interdiction efforts — to fight American drug use. “Education and the use of treatment programs — particularly drug courts — are the mainstays of the administration’s war on drugs.” … “However, enforcement and interdiction efforts will be stepped up.” (Morning News of Northwest Arkansas, Jan. 10, 2002)
On Jan. 8, 2002, the Virginia Court of Appeals upheld a conviction for selling drug paraphernalia, though the owner of the store posted signs in his store stating that the water pipes and other items were intended for legal tobacco use. However, Circuit Judge H. Thomas Padric ruled that water pipes, also called bongs, and roach clips clearly are intended for using drugs, not tobacco.
“If I put a sign on a dog that says, ‘I’m a cat,’ that doesn’t mean it’s a cat!”
(Washington Times, Jan. 09, 2002)
Even though the Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia are seeking admission into the European Union, they are resisting the liberal drug policy advocated by the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. Latvia’s drug policy addresses both supply and demand. It involved prevention, rehabilitation, and cracking down on drug abusers and dealers with harsh punishment. Pridu Pama, deputy secretary general at the Estonian Ministry of Justice, said decriminalizing drugs could have grave consequences for the rest of Europe. Daiva Jakaite, head of the justice and interior affairs unit of Lithuania’s European committee, said, “I don’t think the Lithuanian government will allow for any liberalization when it comes to using illegal drugs, and public opinion is very much against the decriminalization of drugs.” (Baltic Times, Jan. 17-23, 2002)
Beware of “medical” marijuana doctors!
Oregon State Medical Examiners have taken disciplinary action against an Oregon Osteopath for not keeping detailed medical records on nearly 900 patients for whom he signed marijuana applications last year. In many cases, he never saw the patient until officials asked for more documentation. (Oregonian Jan. 18, 2002)
[Ed. Note, Without seeing an individual, it would not be possible to determine whether a medical condition existed, or if it did, whether the user was an addict, or if marijuana was compatible with other medications the individual might be taking. It would not even be possible to determine if the individual was of legal age.]
There were about 50 illicit cannabis clubs in Copenhagen, Denmark. In summer 2001, the Danish Parliament decided to take action. After two warnings from the police, a sign will be posted on the door of the club warning the public that entering the premises is a criminal offence. The local paper will publish the names of the landlord, informing the public that he/she is suspected of illegal activities. Some clubs voluntarily closed down, and some closed after the first warning.
In September 2001, responding to a question in Parliament, the Swedish Minister of Agriculture, Ms. Margareta Winberg, said she would take no steps to allow cultivation of Cannabis sativa (hemp) in Sweden. The Swedish Government has already informed the EU Directorate for Agriculture that the country has no intention to change the Swedish law on cultivation of cannabis sativa.
(Hassela Nordic Network, Sept. 22, 2001)
Recent research concluded that:
(Campbell FA, Tramer MR, Carroll D, Reynolds DJ, Moore RA, McQuay HJ. British Journal of Medicine, 2001;323:13-16)
Cannabinoids may be useful in certain circumstances as mood enhancing agents, but serious adverse side effects, even when taken short term, will likely limit their usefulness. “These results should make us think hard about the ethics of clinical trials of cannabinoids, when safe and effective alternatives are known to exist, and when efficacy of cannabinoids is known to be marginal.”
(Tramer MR. Carrol D, Campbell FA, Reynolds DJ, Moore RA, McQuay. British Journal of Medicine, 2001;323:16-21)
In 1994, Vancouver, British Columbia, experienced an explosive outbreak of HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) among injection drug users (IDUs). A study of 1,345 subjects from a street outreach program established that 62 HCV seroconversions occurred among 155 IDUs who were initially HCV negative. The authors of the study found that independent correlates of HCV seroconversion include being a female, cocaine use, injecting at least daily, and frequent attendance at a needle-exchange program. (D.M. Patrick, Canadian Medical Association Journal. Hassela Nordic Network, Oct. 3, 2001)
WARNING: An Asian drug-ring made Switzerland the European test market for a dangerous new drug, Thai-pills. Chemically, the pills are similar to Ecstasy, but they are much more dangerous, notably more addictive, and the tolerance level increases rapidly. The pills have caused cases of extreme aggressiveness, severe psychological disturbance, loss of memory, and physical disability. Most of the tablets seized by the Swiss police had the letters “Wy” stamped on them.
In September 2001, Bangkok city police initiated the Drug Abuse Resistance Education project (DARE) to educate 1,500 Bangkok school children about the evil of drugs. Police Lieutenant General, Anan Piromkaew, the city police chief, said that DARE would be set up in all the city’s 87 police stations, in line with the government’s anti-drugs policy and “social order” crackdown. DARE was first introduced in Thailand in 1998 with the assistance of the United States.
High school athletes are increasingly using muscle-building drugs. About 42 percent of NCAA athletes who reported in 2001 that they use steroids said they brought the habit with them from high school. Past-year steroid use by high school seniors rose to 2.4 percent from 1.7 percent in 2000. Dr. Linn Goldberg of Oregon Health and Science University said, “Steroid use goes along with other illicit drug use.” Ephedrine, a weight loss drug, is a legal over-the-counter product, but it is a banned substance in the NCAA and can lead to cardiac arrest or stroke. Fifty-eight percent of NCAA users in 2001 said they had used it in high school, compared with 34 percent in 1997. (Monitoring the Future Survey, AP Jan. 22, 2002)
Injecting Clinics Encourage and Maintain Addiction
Although there are injecting clinics in Sydney, Australia, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty, Australia’s top cop, has rejected plans for any further injecting clinics, heroin trials, or giving out illicit drugs on prescription. He dismisses the practices as “nonsense.” Keelty says such practices encourage and maintain addiction and fail to deal with the problem. They only treat symptoms but not the causes. HNN INTERNATIONAL CENTRE 12/3/01
According to information released on January 23, 2002, by John Walters, Director of U.S. National Drug Control Policy, the economic damage illegal drugs inflict on the American economy is predicted to be over $160 billion ($160,000,000,000) for the year 2000. (www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov)
“The only feasible goal for the United Nations is to maintain human rights. As far as drug policy is concerned, the only feasible goal is a drug free society.” Swedish Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Mr. Lars Engqvist, September 2001
“If you legalize one substance, marijuana, you’ve accomplished nothing in the economic model, because the cartels will be engaged in methamphetamine and heroin and any other type of illegal substances they can bring in. … You do not prevent the necessity for the court system and law-enforcement operation unless you legalize everything, and no one really advocates that.” Asa Hutchinson, Administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Jan. 9, 2002
“Industrial hemp” legislation is all worthless posturing by folks pumping each other up with nonsense. The free market system forces all producers to be competitive. Hemp is backed not by good economics but by emotion and misguided idealism. If the latter counted for anything, Pan Am would still be ruling the skies, and the Queen Elizabeth II wouldn’t be so alone on the seas. Like Hemmingway’s bull, this movement is dead but doesn’t yet know it. John J. Coleman, Asst. Administrator, ret., Drug Enforcement Administration
The Soros-backed Lindesmith Center opened an office and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get pro-drug legislation passed. Drug preventionists with a tremendous effort and little money beat them! The good people of New Mexico spoke loud and clear. They don’t want legal drugs in their state.
Marijuana decriminalization — failed in committee
Hemp Licensing Bill — failed in committee
Mandatory probation for the first two drug offenses — failed in committee
“Medical” marijuana — failed in committee
Category: Drug Trends